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Pigeon fanciers have a plan to save them

Pigeon fanciers in Britain, tired of having their prize racing birds snatched by predators, have a plan to save them - by making them taste too nasty for other birds to eat.

Many British nature lovers have been delighted that populations of once endangered predator birds such as peregrine falcons are growing, informs New Zealand Herald.

Peter Bryant, 50, the general manager of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, told the paper the chemicals would not harm the falcons, but would, after a few bad lunches, persuade the raptors to give up their racing pigeon diets.

Britain's 55 000 pigeon fanciers are suffering the effects of successful efforts by conservationists to reverse the sharp decline in peregrine numbers seen in the 1950s and 1960s, writes Independent Online.

There may be some problems with the plan, Bryant acknowledged: "Apparently some of the sprays are a bit like Kentucky Fried Chicken coating. It could affect the aerodynamics of the pigeon feathers." And some pigeons will end up as lunch before the falcons learn to avoid them.

"Birds are going to be killed before the peregrine or sparrowhawk realises, 'this is not a very nice pigeon'. But you have to look at the longer term. If there is a result, the ends justify their means.", reports ABC News.

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